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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/91911
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- Development and pilot testing of the Caregiver Leisure Attitude Scale (CLAS) and the 'Me Time for Mums' creative arts and leisure program
- Zaks, Debbie
- This thesis comprised separate but integrated components. Part 1 describes the development and pilot testing of a new Caregiver Leisure Attitude Scale (CLAS). This scale was used as one of the outcome measures in Part 2, which documents the development, implementation, and evaluation of 'Me Time for Mums', a creative-arts oriented leisure program for mothers caring for a child with a disability. The CLAS was tested with 118 women ranging in age from 22 to 64 (M = 40.15 years, SD = 8.55), comprising 64 caregivers of people with a disability and 54 mothers of typically developing children. Results indicated preliminary evidence for the validity and reliability of a 23-item version of the CLAS. While this version of the CLAS was psychometrically sound for use as an outcome measure in Part 2, further research is warranted to refine the CLAS items and confirm its factor structure. The 'Me Time for Mums' leisure program consisted of five weekly two-hour sessions: (a) yoga/relaxation, (b) belly dancing, (c) 'Theatresports' improvisation, (d) group drumming, and (e) art making/sensory play. The program was implemented with two groups; one group acted as a waiting-list control group while the other group completed the program. There were 8 participants in each group. Participants were between 30 and 58 years of age (M = 42.75, SD = 7), provided direct caregiving to their child with a disability for a minimum of 40 hours per week, and reported below average personal wellbeing. The two intervention groups differed on the basis of participating in a pre-program self-investigation intervention. One intervention group, the 'P+ group', received the program plus a pre-program narrative-based intervention, adapted from the self-confrontation method formulated by Hermans and Hermans-Jansen (1995, 2001). The other group, referred to as the 'P group' participated in the program only, after first serving as the wait-list control group. In order to evaluate the program, the groups completed a battery of questionnaires before and after the program, provided written feedback after each session, and participated in post-program interviews three months after completing the program. Results of ANOVAs and planned contrasts demonstrated that the following program outcomes were replicated across the two intervention groups. Compared to the wait-list control group, both intervention groups reported significantly greater pre- to post-program changes on the following variables: Increased perception of the benefits of leisure, greater motivation to increase leisure, increased use of leisure companionship as a coping strategy, decreased stress, increased positive energy, and increased satisfaction with basic needs and activities of living. In addition, compared to both the wait-list control group and the P group, the P+ group reported a significantly greater reduction in perceived intrapersonal constraints to leisure. Lastly, the P group reported a greater reduction in tiredness during the program, compared to waiting for it. Qualitative results of post-program interviews elucidated further salutary effects of the program in terms of attitudinal outcomes (reduced intrapersonal constraints to leisure and increased acknowledgement of personal needs), affective outcomes (uplifted mood and increased affective self-regulation) and behavioural outcomes (increased leisure behavior and 'seizing moments' for doing leisure). Participants described these positive outcomes as resulting from experiencing a number of psychological processes: (a) self-expansion; (b) a state of energised focus which approximated Csíkszentmihályi’s concept of 'flow'; (c) restorative respite; and (d) social support. Both the quantitative and qualitative results demonstrated that doing the pre-program self-investigation intervention augmented positive program effects, indicating that the effects of an experiential leisure program may be enhanced when coupled with a priming intervention which makes the multifaceted and dynamic nature of personal identity salient. Results of this study suggest that experiential leisure programs are a beneficial and feasible positive psychology intervention. Limitations of the present program design and evaluation are noted with a view to future improvements, and implications are discussed with a view to facilitating the sustainable delivery of the 'Me Time for Mums' program model in Australia.
- Publication type
- Thesis (DPsych)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Life and Social Sciences
- Publication year
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Copyright © 2010 Deborah Zaks.